Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

How To Treat Them

When I was in college, I remember going to a Met game. The Mets were playing the Montreal Expos and the Expos sent John Milner up as a pinch hitter. Sitting a few rows in front of me were a father and son tandem. As Milner was introduced as the pinch hitter, the father started booing loudly and then turned to his son, with a huge grin on his face and said, “That’s how you treat the opposition”.

As a long time Met fan, I remembered John Milner playing for the Mets (I don’t think the father a few rows in front did), I remembered Milner as someone who always tried his best and gave 100% and, especially considering the team, was not a bad player. I left thinking how unfortunate for that child to be taught to have such little regard for a man with class, a hard worker and a loyal Met player back in the day.

Now, fast forward to the present day (and I am probably getting a little controversial here). While the semester is out, I have taken a job working on the telephones, conducting phone interviews (no sales). It is not my ideal job but it is an honest day’s work (for an honest day’s pay). I’ve done it in the past and I’m still pretty good at it but, honestly, the older I get, the tougher it is to do for eight hours. I also confess, I get more frustrated now than I ever did when people hang up on me. I don’t mind people tell me, “No thank you, I’m not interested,” but I do find hanging up on me just plain rude, and some of them seem to be very gleeful when they do it, I can just hear these people turning to their children and saying, “That’s the way you treat them”.

In this particular case, I find it particularly annoying because the survey is actually about five minutes and after we introduce ourselves and the survey (I timed this at 15 seconds), we ask, “May I continue”. These individuals are given the option of saying, “No”. Sometimes, I get all the way through the introduction and ask, “May I continue,” and instead of the person saying, “No,” or, “I’m not interested,” they still just slam down the phone. I find that particularly aggravating.

The good news is, I am always on the lookout for new material to use for my class. I have a feeling that when I cover persuasive speaking this coming semester, my phone surveying experiences are going to give me new material to work into the class.